Liverpool hero Jamie Carragher has torn into Virgil van Dijk and Alisson after the pair made a vital mistake to gift Arsenal three points on Sunday afternoon. The centre-back and goalkeeper failed to clear a long pass from Gunners defender Gabriel. That allowed Gabriel Martinelli to tap the ball into an empty net.
The score was 1-1 at the time and turned the tide in the second half. Arsenal went 1-0 up thanks to a Bukayo Saka strike but Liverpool levelled on the stroke of half time when Gabriel turned the ball into his own net.
Ibrahima Konate was sent off for picking up two yellow cards before Leonardo Trossard added the icing on the win, firing through Alisson’s legs from an acute angle.
Speaking about Van Dijk and Alisson’s mix-up, Carragher told Sky Sports: “It’s a big mistake that you make once a season and it’s just happened at the worst time possible. Van Dijk needs to head that – does the goalkeeper make a bit of a rash decision? Yes, but Van Dijk just needs to head it!
“Don’t complicate it, don’t let it bounce! Head it back to Konate, or Alisson, he gets nudged slightly which might put Alisson slightly but that’s well within Martinelli’s right to do that – we’re playing at the top level.
“The two of them have been fantastic, they’ve been part of this Liverpool team for four or five seasons and it’s the reason why they’re back at the top right now but that one is an absolute howler.
“Van Dijk, he’s been involved in all three of those goals tonight – the first he just needs to stay in position, the second he needs to head it away and the third he has to come across. Konate has gone off and you’re a defender down and there’s very few weaknesses in Van Dijk’s game but this is one of them.”
And Roy Keane added: “I agree with Jamie, I think defenders are making things overly complicated for themselves. Just head the ball! We’ve had players be quite laid back, casual – switch on! Smell the danger, head the ball! You’re a big, strong boy, just get it clear!”
Addressing his mistake, Van Dijk said: “Eventually a very tough day. I take full responsibility for that and it’s a big turning point in the game, It hurts, especially for me and for the team. It’s a big turning point because especially after the break we had big opportunities and they started to become a bit more nervous.
“We became dominant in the second half. I made the wrong decision and should have cleared it, but these things happen in the split seconds. I will take responsibility but I learn from things when they do not go well.”